Marks of A Good Preschool
Most families look for preschools located conveniently from their areas of residence or work. Families living in Sengkang may look for good childcare centres located around Sengkang, families working from the central business district may look for childcare centres in those areas. But how do you tell if you have found a good preschool before signing up?
An Inviting Environment With Child-Safe Spaces
During your preschool visit, check that the space is inviting, with demarcated areas and room for children to explore, areas for children to sit and read or play with materials, opportunities for individual play and group play activities.
To allow for a certain degree of expression and sharing, it would also be ideal if there are classrooms or other noise-reduction measures for optimal learning.
Play materials should be placed at a height easily accessible to children. There should be evidence of efforts in child-proofing, such as cushioned corners and treatments to door hinges.
Whilst the place should be reasonably tidy, it should look like it’s used by children (i.e. it shouldn’t be overly neat!)
Involved Teachers with Evident Positive Relationships
Be on the lookout for the evidence of positive relationships between teachers and children, and amongst their peers.
Teachers should be getting down and being hands-on with the children, taking care of their needs, engaging with them. You will hear friendly chatter and laughter.
Good Quality Work Done by Children Evident in Environment
If the school looks overly ‘classy’ with extremely clean walls and no evidence of quality work done by children, it may not be a great sign. A school that looks too opulent may mean you are paying a premium for its beaufitul renovations but not so much for its quality of teachers or curriculum, which could make a more direct positive impact on the children.
Having works displayed on walls encourage children to enjoy the fruits of their hard work and gives you an idea of what your child will likely be doing in school. It also provides an avenue for peer-learning, and for children to share ideas and appreciate their peers’ work.
Children Engaged and Interested
When visiting the schools, have a close look at the children’s faces. Do they seem interested and engaged in their learning? Or are you looking at faces that are bored from rote-learning?
ECDA’s accreditation of the number of years of licence, such as 24 or 36 months’ licences may sometimes also be a mark of a certain standard of quality.
Though not always so as schools may opt for modes of curriculum that differ from ECDA’s recommended, certain other awards, such as the Singapore Preschool Accreditation Framework (SPARK) mark, could also be a sign of a good childcare centre.